Call to action in a time of uncertainty by Mary Meadows
Start, begin, endeavour, venture, action, just do it… I am an expert in ACTION. I know the steps needed to take to achieve a goal; I have studied, researched, proven exactly what it takes. I know the tips, the shortcuts, what to ignore, what to do to make it inevitable that you reach your goal. So why am I so great at facilitating others in reaching their goals but so useless at actually applying my methodology to myself?
The answer is right there in my first paragraph the word ’useless’…the language we use is key, so that’s what I’m doing right now. Working hard on the language I use not just when I speak out loud but also what I say to myself. Sometimes the most dangerous place to be is inside your own head, the thoughts we think can be the difference, THE DIFFERENCE between achieving and failing.
So why are we so scared of failing? Why are my peers shocked that I don’t mind the word ‘FAIL’? Why do people see it as a bad thing? We are human, and isn’t that what sets us apart? Our ability to fail at something! Because and here’s the thing, failing means we are TRYING. Everything I have read about self-development, personal development, self-help, recovery tells us about the fact we ‘should’ TRY. And there’s the ‘language’ again…’SHOULD’ such a small word, but one we use a lot of the time, particularly in our heads.
SHOULD such a weird word to type, it feels icky, and when something feels icky, I have learnt to try and avoid it whether its people, conversations, products, or places. If it’s ‘icky’ it means it doesn’t sit well with your values. Which means it isn’t important to you, which means avoid it or it will make you feel just plain wrong.
So where am I going with this post? Not entirely sure…because guess what? I haven’t set myself a goal!
I had a goal last week and I have achieved it and I cannot wait to celebrate this weekend. It felt good, it felt strong, it felt right and I DID IT. Why? Because I wrote it down, I reminded myself of it often, I asked for help, for support (and got it in spades) I broke it down in to manageable chunks, reflected every few days on how I was doing and what I needed to do next. I spoke kindly to myself, I worked on the things I knew I needed to inside and out.
So why has today been so hard…because I haven’t got a goal, I haven’t got a focus, I am not striving for anything…and right now I am tired, I am exhausted by everything and everyone. So having reached my goal, and not having thought about my next one I slipped back to ‘easy’ to that unconscious living we do when life is hard, when we have too much to do, when we aren’t making time for the stuff we know works.
There is probably a book or a system or a whole tribe of people called ‘living consciously’ (haven’t googled it but there most certainly will be) because that is the answer, the answer to life itself! It’s not about being happy or having the perfect balance (I have learnt that both of these are due to our circumstances, our environment you can affect them a little but they aren’t ‘things’ to strive for, they just happen sometimes, and if you cling on to them like a magnet they will disappear so just best not really focus on them and just let them wash over you when they are here, and don’t worry about it when they are not)
SO here is a reminder, to myself mainly, but to any of you that read this – GOALS work, they give you something to strive for (note my language, STRIVE, healthy striving is what we are aiming for, not obsession, not ignoring everything else around you, healthy striving) review and reflect – OFTEN, know how you are going to CELEBRATE and by celebrate have an appropriate celebration planned (if your goals are around changing your habits with regards to rewarding yourself with food or alcohol don’t make the celebration about food or alcohol…)
WRITE IT DOWN – every study, every client, every example I can possibly think of, people reach goals when they write it down, when they commit to it, there is something that moves to our unconscious minds when we write things down and this is important. Ask for help, yep tough one, we like to think we can do it all on our own, there is something that is celebrated in our society about achieving something all by ourselves, don’t make this harder than it needs to be…ask for help and it will be given whether it’s a friend, an expert or the man in the coffee shop ASK FOR HELP. Lastly pay attention to the voice in your head, try and hear it, move past the negative language, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
It is going to hurt a bit, because we aren’t used to setting goals for ourselves but I promise you this is how to live well, get out of a funk, and how to get in your groove, get your mojo back, whatever you call it – GET YOUR GOAL ON!
PS if you would like me to hold your hand through the process of setting your very first proper goal, I have an amazing online workshop coming up to do just that!